Olen suomalainen, a video that says we’re Finns on our terms

by , under Enrique Tessieri

What kind of questions does the Olen suomalainen (I’m a Finn) video clip raise about Finland and Finnish identity in the new century? For one, shows that there is wide support for the idea that being Finnish is a personal matter and can be embraced on one’s terms.

In less than a week since it got published on February 25, the video clip attracted on Sunday over 137,775 views.


The video clip has been reported by the Italian media since the original song, L’italiano, came out in 1983 and was sung by Toto Cotugno.

The song was made into a Finnish hit by Kari Tapio.

The news that a song like Olen suomalainen, which promotes cultural diversity and respect, must come as a shock to Finland’s anti-immigration camp.

But let’s make one matter clear, the new version of Olen suomalainen means in my opinion that migrants and minorities can embrace Finnish identity on their terms. In other words: I am who I am and if you don’t like it it’s your problem, not mine.

Identity is a personal matter.

The video has the following message: We are Finns and we should receive the respect and recognition that everyone deserves.

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